As part of the Year 8 Science and Connected Learning curricula, the Secondary Science Faculty collaborated with the Society of Women Engineers (SWEnext) on a two-day Rube Goldberg experience led by Year 12 students. Bangkok Patana School’s affiliation with SWEnext is a student-led project encouraging participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The Rube Goldberg experience was planned and organised by a group of Year 12 students, with Mr Roff, Senior Teacher Curriculum and Assessment, with the intention to stimulate Year 8 students’ interest in STEM, as well as to build leadership and critical thinking skills. This two-day experience was a flourish of fun, friendship and team building. As a worthwhile adventure for the students, they were challenged to a Rube Goldberg machine-building contest. The aim? To complete a simple contraption in the most creative way with as many steps as possible. This event also provided a great opportunity for students to form connections across year groups, with each Year 8 team supervised by a pair of Year 12 student role-models.
“Having the opportunity to be able to lead and organise such a wide-scale event for the Year 8 students was challenging but very rewarding; many hours were put into our judging criteria, the material list, lesson plans and logistics of who and what went where – it was pretty overwhelming. But as we were making rounds to each Year 8 group, we were blown away at just how creative and enthusiastic they were. The Year 8 students were completely engaged and persevered even when their machines would not work. For them, it was trial after trial and when their machines finally worked – everyone exploded in cheers. We believe all the sweat and tears put into this project culminated into a very gratifying experience that we will never forget. We are incredibly grateful to Mr Roff, the Science Department, and our wonderful cohort of Year 12 volunteers for helping us make this project possible!” Sonya Pang and Gem Ninsuvannakul, Co-presidents of SWEnext.